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Open Questions: Did Only Rich Kids Get into the National Guard?

10 Open Questions for my 'Main Stream Media' friends:


The only way Bush got into the National Guard during the Vietnam era was because his father was a prominent politician who used his deep pocket political influence to get a coveted slot as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard.

Question #1: What political machine ran the State of Texas In the 1960's?

Ans: Democrat party. Texas was a stronghold of Democrat politics until the 1980's. You remember LBJ, from the great street theatre chant in the 1960's. Yeah, he was from Texas too!

Question #2: What percentage of political offices in Texas were held by the opposition party?

Ans: Few and far between. Senator John Tower and 2 term Congressman George H.W. Bush were two that come to mind, but in fact, many, many Congressional seats in Texas went unopposed for years after FDR.

Question #3: To which party did the Bush family align itself at the time?

Ans: Republican. Yes Virginia, Once upon a time the Republican party had the strength of the current day libertarian party in most places in the south. The Democrat political machine ran everything south of the mason dixon line, and I do mean "ran".

Question #4: Were pilots from the Texas Air National Guard Mobilized during Vietnam?

Ans: Yes. One pilot of ironic interest is the said same Col. Killian, Bushs Squadron commander, who was in Vietnam in 1968, as was Bushs flight instructor.

Question #5: What aircraft was George W. Bush certified to fly in the Air National Guard?

Ans: The Convair F-102. Details can be found here.

Question #6: Was this aircraft used in Vietnam, and were there any losses?

Ans: Yes. 15 Aircraft of this type were lost in South East Asian Theater of Operations. Interestingly, the 147 Group, of which Lt. Bushs' squadron was a part of, flew the F-102 in Vietnam.

Question #7: If the goal of George W. Bush was to avoid dangerous duty, is there perhaps a better choice available in the National Guard besides being a pilot in single engine, single seat subsonic fighter aircraft which he could have chosen to 'bide his time'?

Ans: Sure. Ask Rep. Richard Gebhardt of Missouri.

Question #8: In what way will family and political connections aid the pilot of a single seat aircraft experiencing 'hard IFR' conditions at night and low on fuel in the midst of an all too common Texas thunderstorm?

Ans: It dont matter whos your daddy when your the "Pilot in Command" of a single seat aircraft.

Question #9: Since jet fighter aircraft and pilot training are an expensive line items on the accounting books of any organization, is it at all likely that an organization like the Air Force and its subsidiary, the Air National Guard would allow a pilot of low regard near an expensive piece of hardware where even under the best of conditions a pilot stands a better than average chance of killing himself and destroying the said same aircraft, resulting in hours of legal paperwork and untold 'courts of inquiry' into the accidental and untimely death of a scion of a rich political family?

Ans: Imagine youre Col. Killian. One day, someone walks into your office and presents you with a new wetnose officer. You are introduced and someone tells you that this is a "Congressmans kid". "Great", you say to yourself. Your first task is to find out what kind of guy this is, is he a whiner? a tattletale? a 'little napoleon' out to make his bones as real he-man medal hound? or worse is he a danger to himself and the other pilots in the Squadron, and possibly an embarrasment to you and your command?

The one thing you are not going to do is take chances. If "Young Mr. Bush" goes out one day and crashes into an elementary school, it isnt going to be him that takes the heat, its going to be you. He will be a hero for staying with his plane, while you will be the incompentent officer who's shoddy paperwork lead to the disaster. If the FNG is anything short of great, he's going to be the new squadron supply officer, just as soon as you talk to the Squadron flight surgeon to tell him with a wink of your eye that your 'positive' that our young pilot has a small "heart arythmia". Something not too messy, or scary, just something to keep our boy away from the pointy end of expensive aircraft.

What did the real Col. Killian do with the real Lt. Bush? He put Lt. Bush on alert status full time for 6 months and regular flight duty for 2 years. Never broke a nail, never crashed into an elementary school, never embarrased the good Colonel or his command.

Question #10: If the only way to get a coveted spot in the National Guard during Vietnam was due to favoritism by wealth and power, how did Dick "my dad was a union milkman" Gephardt get in to the Missouri Air National Guard at the same time that George W. Bush was in the Texas Air National Guard?

Ans: Well golly, maybe George W. Bush put in a good word for him, so that he could manipulate Rep. Gephardt in the future over his vote on Iraq. Those Bush people are just evil plotters, they are willing to wait decades to collect on a debt. They are like the mafia, just ask Kitty Kelly.

September 13, 2004 at 10:35 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Open Questions: Did Only Rich Kids Get into the National Guard?


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Man, I hate to show up here and do nothing but nitpick...but in Question #7: the F-102 was a supersonic aircraft.(If that's what you are referring to). The T-33 trainer that Bush flew on occasion was subsonic, but the operational airplane at the unit was most definitely super-, not sub-sonic.

Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Rich | Sep 14, 2004 5:20:24 AM

Correct. The F-102 is supersonic. I had mistakenly thought that it was at best trans-sonic a condition that was corrected later with the creation of the 'area rule' fuselage, and to a complete redesign that resulted in the F-106.

I had thought the f-102 was a failed design from the Convair stables, apparently I was wrong.

Posted by: Frank Martin | Sep 14, 2004 9:06:37 AM

At last someone brings up this point. I am a 54 year old Texan and I can tell you that in Texas in 1971-1972 this was a democrat state. Sure John Tower was a republican and US senator, but the only way he got into office was the fluke of running in an open election held after LBJ became veep. There were about 20 or so people on the ballot and he had a catchy name. Bush, Sr., was not a powerful figure in Texas in 1970. Most statewide republicans came into office either in 1980 with Reagan or in 1982.

Posted by: Redman | Sep 14, 2004 11:08:57 AM

To my recollection, it must've been Texas State law that any structural concrete or building with more than one level had to have the initials "LBJ" somewhere on it to pass the code inspection.

You couldnt swing a dead cat in that place without hitting something that "Lyndon" owned or controlled.

Posted by: Frank Martin | Sep 14, 2004 11:23:53 AM

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